GREAT-FOOD ALERT: If tasting your way through the city's best new restaurants is your thing, we salute you. We've even made the adventure easier with our annual "Best New Restaurants" issue, which is now online. But don't touch that dial; we've got even more goodness for you, below. (Photo by Ash Daniel)
Hey, there, Richmond. Stuck in some gloomy-weather doldrums this weekend? Don't let those clouds get to you. Instead, transport yourself to Thailand with an orchid-adorned cocktail or to the West Indies with some of the best roti this city's ever seen. Richmond's best new restaurants can help, and so can the rest of this week's Food News:
- I hope you're hungry, because we just added our "2016 Best New Restaurants" feature to the site, and it's chockablock with lobster rolls, Thai food, oysters, Caribbean cuisine, Argentinian empanadas, Neapolitan-style pizza and so much more. Here's our guide to the region's top 10 full-service restaurants, plus our favorite new quick-and-casual spots, so that you can add these 20 restaurants (and recommended dishes to order once you get there) to your Ultimate Dining-in-Richmond Bucket List.
- Sauce & Toss is coming to Shockoe Bottom for all your seafood-boil and fried-chicken needs. The former home of Franklin Street Market at 1711 E. Franklin St. will open with customizable options galore, presumably both sauced and tossed, all from the family behind New Fish Market and Shark Seafood Restaurant. (Richmond BizSense)
- Nate Matthews isn't reinventing the wheel-shaped bagel here in Richmond; he's bringing us a taste of classic, authentic and fresh New York-style bagels with his weekly subscription service, Nate's Bagels. Here's a fun profile on the bagelman himself, and where to sink your teeth into these boiled-and-baked beauties each week. (Style Weekly)
- Fun fact: Richmond's theatrical, blood-spewing metal band GWAR is releasing its own vodka next month, and it's teaming up with James River Distillery to do it. Arctic Snow, a 100-percent potato-based vodka, debuts on Aug. 20 at GWAR B-Q, and it'll hit the distillery's shelves shortly after that, and then GWARbar's, and then other Richmond-area restaurants and bars and also those in D.C. and Maryland. Want more info on Arctic Snow? (See also: GWAR B-Q JELL-O SHOTS) Right this way. (Richmond magazine)
- Sure, it's supposed to rain all weekend, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy some quality pool time the rest of the summer. And you know what happens when you go swimming (or generally do anything active, ever): You get SO VERY HUNGRY. Fortunately, here's a great roundup of quality snack options available to you at/around some of Richmond's most popular community pools. Go forth and swim and eat, or maybe just go forth and lounge around poolside with some snacks, either works. (Who says you need to "earn" calories, anyway?) (CBS 6)
- In Keeping the Dream Alive news (and doing it well), business at Stymie's Bar and Grill is still very much booming, and the restaurant is serving up dinner from 4 to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays and lunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays even though River's Bend Golf Course — where it resides — is closed. Stop by for a meal and say hello while plans for the golf course develop. (Richmond BizSense)
- PIE PSA: Proper Pie Co.'s annual vacation begins Monday, Aug. 1, so you've got three days left to grab some flaky goodness before it reopens Sept. 1. Check out today's full menu here.
- ANOTHER CHURCH HILL PSA: In back-from-break news, The Dog & Pig Show reopens on Wednesday, Aug. 3, after nearly a month of closure to retool the menu. I'm not 100 percent on what this noodle dish is, but it's a preview of what's to come and I want it right this minute.
- And now for that big, heinously mortifying elephant in the room: Yesterday afternoon, Richmond Times-Dispatch announced it is letting go its dining critic due to multiple acts of plagiarism. If you are a member of the restaurant community and reading this, please know that this writer's actions do not represent those of the Richmond-area food writing community, and that I — and I'm sure many others — understand it may be difficult to rebuild your trust after this. We owe you the same amount of journalistic diligence and respect as we owe our readers outside of the dining community, whether we love or dislike your restaurant; what happened was an unacceptable breach of ethics that is not indicative of this city's writing community, food beat or no. If you are anyone at all reading this, which you are, please know that while this critic now essentially wears the scarlet letter of journalism, this does not make them a bad person. In fact, they are a very nice person. I'm sure a lot of members of a number of communities feel a mix of emotions about this news, but despite how shocked or angry or embarrassed you may very well be — and believe me, as a member of Richmond media, it's embarrassing for all of us, not just those at RTD — please do not lose sight of your compassion. To read RTD's full statement, visit the site here.
Rain or shine, these weekend events are here. for. you.
- It's upon us: Remember that preview of HeArt & Soul Brew Fest, the new soul food festival at Hardywood? Well if you do and you've been anticipating and preparing this whole time, your patience is rewarded: From 2 to 9 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday), you'll find all of the local vendors, artists and music sets you've been looking forward to, as well as all that goodness from Mama J's, Croaker's Spot, Loft Seventeen and more. If you didn't read the preview and you haven't been looking forward to it, my friend, start now.
- Also on Saturday: a crab festival at 7 Hills Brewing Co.! Sit down to a dozen crabs for $23, oysters Rockefeller with a side for $17, a half-dozen oysters for $12 and a Low Country boil for $14, plus, of course, BEER. Doors open at 11 a.m., food and live music begin at 3 p.m. (7 Hills Brewing Co.)
- Also on Saturday: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BLUE BEE! Celebrate the cidery's third year with a dog-friendly li'l Manchester street festival complete with free Shyndigz cake, live music, for-purchase food from Camden's Dogtown Market, and also dog adoptions! Go pet some dogs! Go eat some cake! Go drink some cider! Noon to 7 p.m. (Blue Bee Cider)
- Tomorrow you can also be the very best like no one ever was and go on the "Pokemon Go" bar crawl, where $25 gets you drink specials at all participating stops and a commemorative fanny pack. (Note: I think that might be the first time I've ever written the words "commemorative fanny pack," which is sort of a letdown, right?) Stop in at Bellytimber Tavern between noon and 5 p.m. and register, then be on your merry way. Participating spots include City Dogs, Bellytimber Tavern, Baja Bean, Sticky Rice, Continental Divide, Lady Nawlins, Sullivan's, Starlite, 3 Monkeys and Social 52. Git yr tickets here.
- ALSO ON SATURDAY: Head to A Place of Miracles Cafe in Chester for Caribbean Day, a celebration including Caribbean food, music, dancing, shopping and even a workout session. Noon to 6 p.m. (A Place of Miracles Cafe)
- On Sunday, Amour Wine Bistro will host its annual indoor picnic with charcuterie, duck rillettes, tomato tarts, ratatouille, Provençal chicken and more, at $35 per person, beginning at 3:30 p.m, by reservation only. Claim your spot by calling 353-4020 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Then on Monday, head to Millie's Diner for the return of The Jackdaw! The pop-up is back with shrimp lumpia; tea-smoked ribs; lo mein with sour corn and mushrooms; sausage with garlic fried rice and more, all from $7 to $14 and all from 5 to 11 p.m. Check out the full menu here. (The Jackdaw)
- Tickets are now on sale for the next Longoven dinner at Sub Rosa, to be held Sunday, Aug. 7. I cannot recommend this pop-up enough, and tickets go fast. You've been warned: Snag your seat now for six inventive and visually arresting courses, with beverages included, all for $80. Go. Do it now.
- And a far-off, put-it-on-your-radar announcement: JM Stock Provisions will be cooking at an Ardent Craft Ales beer brunch on Sunday, Sept. 4, and slinging breakfast burritos and biscuits made with the butchery's bacon, sausage and ham. And don't you forget it.
And now for a few (inter)national links:
- Dreams coming true: Inside the Fancy Food Show, wherein specialty, gourmet items are at the table for the taking — though, admittedly, at somewhat of a cost to their vendors. It's a pretty fascinating and mouthwatering read, if you've got a few minutes. (Eater)
- File under: International Hero. An 86-year-old woman just used bacon to defend herself against a robber in Iceland. How did she use this bacon to defend herself? She hit the robber over the head with the bacon. Someone make a movie about this lady, stat. (BBC)
'Til next time, I'll be forming some pork chops into throwing stars, so don't even mess with me.